Timing is everything

Amateur Gardening|May 23, 2020

Timing is everything
Our changing climate is causing the flowering plants many animals rely on to be out of sync, says Val
Val Bourne

The cuckoo flower (Cardamine pratensis) is one of the main food plants of the orange-tip butterfly (male pictured)

IN last week’s AG (16 May) I wrote about Gilbert White, a gardener and naturalist who observed living creatures in the mid-18th century. In those days most learned men examined dead animals in order to learn about them. Gilbert White wrote about his garden and the crops he grew, and he observed the wildlife and wildflowers all about him. His observations influenced the great Charles Darwin, and Gilbert White’s book The Natural History of Selborne has never been out of print.

White also wrote A Naturalist’s Calendar and recorded all sorts of things. His entries for the third week in May talk about crickets, grasshoppers, nightingales and their eggs, and the grasshopper lark. Presumably the grasshopper lark is now called the grasshopper warbler. He mentions that honeysuckle, apple blossom, columbine and monk’s hood are all out.

“Flowering plants and animals are out of sync”


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May 23, 2020